Review: The Captive, by Grace Burrowes

About the book, The Captive The Captive

Christian Severn, Duke of Mercia, is captured out of uniform by the French, and is thus subject to torture. Christian does not break, not once, and is released when Toulouse falls. Back in England, Christian has great difficulty taking up the reins of his life until Gillian, Countess of Windmere, a relation of his late wife, pointedly reminds him that he has a daughter who still needs him very much—a daughter who no longer speaks. Gilly pushes, pulls, and drags Christian back to life, and slowly, she and he admit an attraction to each other.

Christian offers Gilly marriage, but Gilly is a widow, and has fared badly at the hands of her first husband. Gillian will not pledge her heart to a man bent on violence, for Christian cannot give up his determination to extract revenge from his torturer. What will it take for them to give up their stubborn convictions and choose each other over the bonds the past?

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About the author, Grace Burrowes Grace Burrowes

Grace says, “I am the sixth out of seven children and was raised in the rural surrounds of central Pennsylvania. Early in life I spent a lot of time reading romance novels and riding a chubby buckskin gelding named—unimaginatively if eponymously—Buck. I also spent a lot of time practicing the piano. My first career was as a technical writer and editor, a busy profession that nonetheless left enough time to read many, many romance novels.”

“It also left time to grab a law degree through an evening program, produce Beloved Offspring (only one, but she is a lion), and eventually move to the lovely Maryland countryside.”

“While reading yet still more romance novels (there is a trend here) I opened my own law practice, acquired a master’s degree in Conflict Management (I had a teenage daughter by then) and started thinking about writing…. romance novels. This aim was realized when Beloved Offspring struck out into the Big World a few years ago. (“Mom, why doesn’t anybody tell you being a grown-up is hard?”)”

“I eventually got up the courage to start pitching manuscripts to agents and editors. The query letter that resulted in “the call” started out: “I am the buffoon in the bar at the RWA retreat who could not keep her heroines straight, could not look you in the eye, and could not stop blushing—and if that doesn’t narrow down the possibilities, your job is even harder than I thought.” (The dear lady bought the book anyway.)”

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I’m not really a big romance reader. And I’m really not a big historical romance reader. Nevertheless, when the pitch to review The Captive arrived in my inbox, I was feeling like I should broaden my horizons a little. Besides, I’ve always maintained that what matters is the quality of the storytelling.

In this case, I was pleasantly surprised. Grace Burrowes writes historical romance that feels contemporary. She’s an amazing storyteller, and has created characters I wouldn’t mind sitting down to tea with, and a world I wouldn’t necessarily want to live in, but wouldn’t mind visiting for a few days.

I liked that she made Gilly strong and feisty while still keeping her true to the historical era of the story, and I liked that Christian was a single father, and was forced to actually address that state of affairs.

I’m always going to prefer more contemporary stories, but if all historical romances were as delightful as Grace Burrowes’s The Captive I’d consider reading period pieces of this ilk a little more often.

Goes well with a turkey taco salad and fresh limeade.